Keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your progress can be checked.
The most common side-effect is feeling sleepy.
Your skin may become more sensitive to sunlight than normal. Protect your skin from bright sunlight until you know how your skin reacts, and do not use sunbeds.
|Type of medicine||An antipsychotic medicine|
|Available as||Tablets and oral liquid medicine|
Sulpiride, an antipsychotic, is prescribed to relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental health problem which affects your thoughts, feelings or behaviours. Symptoms of schizophrenia include hearing, seeing, or sensing things that are not real, having mistaken beliefs, and feeling unusually suspicious.
Sulpiride works on the balance of chemical substances acting in your brain.
Before taking sulpiride
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking sulpiride it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you have a heart condition or blood vessel disease.
- If you have liver, kidney, or prostate gland problems.
- If you have any problems with your breathing.
- If you have any of the following: epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, depression, raised pressure in your eye (glaucoma) or a condition which causes muscle weakness, called myasthenia gravis.
- If you have ever had yellowing of your skin or of the whites of your eyes (jaundice) or a blood disorder.
- If you have a tumour on your adrenal gland (a condition called phaeochromocytoma), or if you have been told you have 'a prolactin-dependent tumour'.
- If you have a rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria.
- If you have had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take sulpiride
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about sulpiride and it will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- Take sulpiride exactly as your doctor tells you to. When you first start taking it, your dose may be gradually increased to suit your condition. It is usually prescribed as two doses a day, one dose in the morning and the other early evening. The directions for taking the tablets will be printed on the label of the pack to remind you about what the doctor said to you.
- Try to get into the habit of taking your doses at the same times of day each day, as this will help you to remember to take them regularly. You can take sulpiride either before or after meals. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water.
- If you forget to take a dose, leave out the missed dose but make sure that you remember to take your next dose when it is due. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
- Antacid remedies for indigestion can reduce the amount of sulpiride your body absorbs. Because of this, do not take any indigestion remedy during the two hours before or the two hours after you take sulpiride.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Your treatment will require careful monitoring to make sure that you get the best possible benefit from sulpiride. Keep your regular doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked. You will need to have some tests from time to time during the treatment.
- Treatment with sulpiride is usually long-term unless you experience an adverse effect. Keep taking it unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Stopping sulpiride suddenly can cause problems and your doctor may want you to reduce your dose gradually if this becomes necessary.
- Alcohol increases the risk of side-effects from sulpiride, so you should avoid drinking it.
- If you have diabetes you may need to check your blood glucose more frequently, as sulpiride can affect the levels of sugar in your blood. Your doctor will advise you about this.
- Sulpiride can cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight than normal. Use a sunscreen that protects against UVA light and has a sun protection factor (SPF), especially in strong sunlight or until you know how your skin reacts. Do not use sunbeds.
- If you are due to have any medical or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking. This is important because sulpiride could interfere with any anaesthetic you receive.
- If you buy or take any 'over-the-counter' medicines or herbal remedies, please check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take with sulpiride.
Can sulpiride cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with sulpiride. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common sulpiride side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling sleepy||Do not drive and do not use tools or machines|
|Feeling shaky or restless, unusual or uncontrollable muscle movements||Speak with your doctor about any of these. Your treatment may need adjusting|
|Constipation||Drink plenty of water and try to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables|
|Increased weight, difficulty sleeping, erectile dysfunction, breast discomfort, breast enlargement in men, abnormal breast milk production, menstrual problems, rash||Discuss these with your doctor if any become troublesome|
Important: if you experience symptoms such as muscle stiffness, a very high temperature, feeling confused, a fast heartbeat and sweating, you should contact your doctor immediately. These can be signs of a rare but serious condition known as neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to sulpiride, please speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store sulpiride
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
- Always check the expiry date on the pack. The liquid medicine keeps for three months once the bottle has been opened.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading and references
; Sanofi, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated April 2017.
; Rosemont Pharmaceuticals Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated April 2018.
British National Formulary, 75th Edition (Mar 2018); British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
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